Welcome to our national notary directory designed to assist you locate your nearest Notary Public, ready, willing, and able to provide notary services for you - wherever you may live or work, including Sydney, Melbourne, other Australian capital cities, major cities, metropolitan areas, country towns and regions.
Please click on the headings below to read more.
Whether you are a member of the legal profession, the insurance or finance industry, a multinational company, a small business, or simply a private member of the community, you are all cordially invited to navigate the pages of this website to locate a Notary Public practising near where you work or reside, authorised by law to notarise your international document, by either witnessing your signature to it, administering an oath to your affidavit, or certifying a copy of your original document as a true and correct replica.
Should you require notary services listed on this website, you must first make an appointment to meet with your selected notary at his or her office during normal business hours.
Some Notaries make out of office visits to homes or offices, but only in exceptional circumstances. A specific request should be made, and additional fees are payable if the notary agrees to provide such service.
On attending your appointment, if you are not personally known to the Notary, you must produce an official government identity document which displays your signature and recent photograph, such as a current Passport or Driver's Licence.
If your require a certified copy of an original document, you must bring with you the original and the Notary will copy it himself to ensure it is an exact replica.
A Notary may offer legal advice on documents requiring notarial services. If you require legal advice, bear in mind that this is an alternative professional service and additional fees may be payable over and above fees prescribed or agreed for notary services.
Read carefully any written instructions you have regarding the manner your document is to be completed and signed before attending your appointment, and have your papers in proper order, prepared and ready to sign. It is not the Notary’s function to complete blanks in your document, such as your full name and address. This detail should be attended to beforehand. However, refrain from actually signing the document until you meet with your Notary who must physically witness your signature.
Notaries must be satisfied that you fully understand the document being witnessed, particularly a document written in a foreign language.
They may require such a document to be translated into English before witnessing, if he or she is of the opinion that you do not fully understand or agree with its contents; or that a qualified interpreter be present to explain the contents of the document to you. If such a course is necessary, additional expenses may be incurred. Most notaries however, will witness signatures to documents written in languages other than English if satisfied you fully understand and agree with its contents..
NOTARY SERVICES DEFINEDMORE
Australian Notaries Public are appointed by the Supreme Court of the relevant State or Territory in which they intend to practice, except in Queensland where Notaries are appointed under its common law heritage by England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, acting through the Master of the Faculties.
Their principal services are….
Attestation of documents and certification of their due execution for use in Australia and internationally
Preparation and certification of powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents of a similar nature for use in Australia and internationally
Administering of oaths for use in Australia and internationally
Witnessing affidavits, statutory declarations and other documents for use in Australia and internationally
Certification of copy documents for use Australia and internationally
Exemplification of official documents for use internationally
Noting and protesting of bills of exchange
Preparation of ships' protests
Providing certificates as to Australian law and legal practice
PUBLIC NOTARIES | SOLICITORS | LAWYERSMORE
Although all notaries in Australia are lawyers, there are some important differences between practising Notaries Public and lawyers, some of which are…
A Notaries' duty is to the transaction at hand and not just to one of the parties involved in it. In most circumstances, Notaries may act for both parties in the same transaction, as long as there is no conflict
It is the Notaries’ duty to ensure that all transactions concluded are fair to all parties involved
Notaries will often need to attach a special page or add a clause to a document known as an “eschatocol” in order to make it valid for use overseas
It may be necessary, depending on a specific document or the requirements of a certain country or its courts, that a Notaries’ seal and signature be authenticated or apostilled by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Australia before presentation overseas
Notaries do not ordinarily give legal advice or assist in preparation of legal documents and if requested to do so may charge in addition to the prescribed notary fees, solicitor’s fees
Notaries identify themselves on documents by the use of individual seals or stamps. Although it was once universal practice for Australian Notaries to use an embossed seal with a red wafer or adhesive red label, many now use a red inked rubber stamp that contains the notary's full name, identifying logo or symbol, and the words "notary public". Australian Notaries affix their identifying red seal or stamp to documents as close as possible to their witnessing signature
NOTARIES | JUSTICES OF THE PEACEMORE
Notaries Public, unlike JP's and the other similar functionaries such as Commissioners for Affidavits (who are only relevant within their own State or Territory), are recognised and accepted in all foreign countries. As the former Lord Chancellor of England Lord Eldon famoulsly remarked almost two centuries ago… "By the law of nations, notaries have credit everywhere."
What the Lord Chancellor’s statement today means is that a Notary's signature and seal on a document is accepted in most overseas countries without question, subject to the requirement in some instances that the notary’s signature be authenticated or legalised to prevent fraudulent impersonations.
To give an example, a Spanish law court would probably have no idea what a "solicitor", "Justice of the Peace" or "Commissioner for Affidavits" is, but it would certainly recognise the term "Notary Public" as being the same as their "Notario Publico" and more than likely accept on face value the document before it as evidence that it has been properly signed and witnessed.
Australian notaries do not hold "commissions" expiring after a short period of time such being he case in the USA. Generally, once appointed they are authorised to act as a notary for life and may only be "struck off" the Roll of Notaries for proven misconduct. However, in certain States, in particular, New South Wales and Victoria, Notaries cease to be qualified to continue to act once they cease to hold a practising certificate as a legal practitioner. In contrast, American notaries are appointed only for short, consecutive terms.
All Australian States and Territories appoint Justices of the Peace (JP's) or Commissioners for Affidavits and other unqualified persons to take affidavits or statutory declarations and to certify copied documents. However, they can only do so if the relevant affidavit, statutory declaration or copy document is for use within Australia and not in a foreign country; allowing for minor exceptions*** this international function remains the exclusive prerogative of Notaries - the only true "international JP".
Justices of the Peace (JP's) are usually laypersons who have minimal, if any, legal training, although of proven good character. Therefore, a US notary more resembles an Australian JP than an Australian notary.
This is because our USA Notary Public counterpart whilst also administering oaths, taking acknowledgments, and performing other wide ranging and useful functions, is not a qualified lawyer with legal training and consequently is not permitted to offer or give legal advice or prepare legal documents.
***The circumstances in which Australian JP’s (or other functionaries) may witness international documents are relatively few and far between. Documents intended to operate in a small number of Commonwealth countries including former or current British Territories, are probably the only exceptions. JP’s’ signatures to international documents cannot be legalised by the issue of an Apostille Certificate (Western Australia excepted).
The Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries 2016 conference - Queenstown, New Zealand